Customer Review

Reviewed in Australia on 1 November 2017
The Sydney Morning Herald quote "colourful, energetic, evocative " is spot on (for once). This terrific story is set in 1930s Sydney, where the famous harbour bridge is being built and the Great Depression is doing its damnedest. The chapters are narrated alternately by Olivia, daughter of an English Viscount who abandoned her when she was five, but who now runs a successful couture salon, and Yo (Eoghan), the son of a poor, violent, alcoholic Irishman. Ollie' chapters sparkle with a flip wit which sounds absolutely spot on for a well brought up young woman of the time. Yo's tell a darker story, as he takes his sister Agnes away from drunken parents and struggles to keep them both alive. Ollie, Aggie and Yo meet accidentally in the Botanic Gardens and their stories become intertwined. There's more than a touch of the Elizabeth/Darcy's here, which is always fun. The backdrop is even more interesting, as it tells the sad and peculiar story of Sydney's idiotic politics as thousands go hungry. Should Australia keep paying high interest loans to the British when we sent 60,000 young men to die for them? Was New South Wales premier Jack Lang right? Did he deserve to be deposed, when he was democratically elected? This, and a wealth of other interesting issues attest to the depth of Kim Kelly's research, all woven effortlessly into an extremely readable tale. Highly recommended.
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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
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